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Four-year-old Alberta boy fights COVID complications

A Southern Alberta family is fighting a COVID related battle with their 4-year-old son that shows how serious and long-lasting the effects can be. Xavier Ferguson has been in the hospital since April 1.

COCHRANE, ALBERTA – A Cochrane family is fighting a COVID-related battle with their four-year-old son, highlighting how serious and long-lasting the effects of the virus can be.

Xavier Ferguson has been in the hospital since April 1. He is currently fighting Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S., MIS-C is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

Ferguson is on multiple pain medications, requires a chest tube to help him breathe, and is receiving around-the-clock care at the Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary.

The usually active little boy became ill with MIS-C after testing positive for COVID-19 last month.

Ferguson's mother Lauren, a former nurse, is at the hospital 24-7.

On Monday, she said Xavier is looking better, but they are not out of the woods yet.

"It's only been the last couple of days I've seen my kid." she said. "He looks good. But his insides do not mimic his outside, so we're waiting for the inside to heal."

Lauren has a message for people grappling with COVID issues. "I want everyone to take it seriously. If you have a runny nose, stay home."

She wants people to stop spreading misinformation. She says her son's lung looks like a battlefield, and the muscles in his legs have atrophied.

During the interview, Ferguson could be heard trying to get the nurses' attention.

"When he hears the monitor beeping, he calls out to them to come and disconnect the antibiotics tube. He wants to go downstairs for his daily dose of bacon," Lauren said.

There has been an outpouring of support for Ferguson since family friend Steph O'Gara took to social media with a moving Facebook post. In that post, she chronicles the young boy's progression from COVID to pneumonia.

O’Gara lives across the street from Ferguson in Fireside and said the neighbours have become each other’s family.

Xavier has a big birthday around the corner – he turns 5 on April 20.

O’Gara said friends and neighbours looking to help can contact her on Facebook by searching Steph O’Gara.

Some things O’Gara said would be greatly appreciated include birthday cards, get well messages, frozen dinners, gift cards (they are using them for gas and meals) and professional dog walkers to help with the family's three large dogs who are not getting enough daily exercise.

“It’s so good for Lauren and Kyle to just see they’re not alone. It brightens their spirit,” O’Gara said.